NFL Week 7 Injury Update: Checking up on Maurice Jones-Drew and Sunday's other casualties

Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE

It was a tough week for running backs, as Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a foot injury, Shonn Greene received a head injury and Trent Richardson's ribs are still bothering him. A closer look at those injuries and others from Sunday.

A number of teams were affected by injuries in Week 6. The injury gods were particularly unkind to the already-struggling Jacksonville Jaguars, knocking out quarterback Blaine Gabbert with a shoulder injury and running back Maurice Jones-Drew with a foot injury in the team's 26-23 overtime loss to the Raiders. But perhaps the most impactful injury befelled the Washington Redskins, who lost tight end Fred Davis for the season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Here are the key injuries from Sunday's action and their potential impact:

TIGHT ENDS

Fred Davis, Washington Redskins (Achilles tendon)

Davis, a consistent target over the middle for Robert Griffin III this season, ruptured his Achilles' tendon while running a pattern in the end zone during the first quarter of the Redskins' 27-23 loss to the Giants Sunday. He will miss the remainder of the season. The Achilles tendon is a large, ropelike band of fibrous tissue in the back of the ankle that connects the powerful calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). Sometimes called the heel cord, it is the largest tendon in the human body. When the calf muscles contract, the Achilles tendon is tightened, pulling the heel. This allows the foot to point and an individual to stand on tiptoe. It is vital to such activities as walking, running and jumping.

Treatment of a ruptured Achilles tendon can be conservative (casting, rest, and rehabilitation) or surgical. Some studies show the long-term outcome is similar to surgery with regard to strength and function. However, compared with conservative management, surgery has a lower incidence of re-rupture than nonsurgical treatment and allows return to pre-injury activities sooner and at a higher level of functioning with less shrinkage of muscle, making it the option of choice for competitive athletes.

Surgical repair of a ruptured Achilles tendon requires physically suturing the ends of the tendon back together. Typically, as the rupture site heals, a small lump remains from the scarring, but this does not impact healing or resumption of physical activity. Weight bearing commonly begins at about six weeks with a heel support. A return to running or athletics typically requires six months of rehabilitation after the surgery, which cannot take place, as the Redskins have already said in a statement, until swelling resolves.

This is a tough blow for the blossoming Washington offense, which turned to backup tight end Logan Paulsen -- primarily a blocker in Kyle Shanahan's scheme -- to the tune of four catches for 76 yards in Davis' absence. Word out of D.C. late Sunday night was that the team was planning to re-sign Chris Cooley to the roster after previously having waived him during training camp, most likely in time for the Redskins' Week 8 matchup at Pittsburgh.

QUARTERBACKS

Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars (shoulder)

Jacksonville's second-year quarterback left late in the first half of the Jaguars' 26-23 overtime loss to Oakland Sunday with a left (non-throwing) shoulder injury, and did not return to action. Gabbert was having arguably his best half of football in his young career thus far before departing, having completed eight of 12 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, with his team up 17-6 at the time. The injury took place when Gabbert was hit and landed on the shoulder, but there has been little information out of Jacksonville regarding its extent. Backup quarterback Chad Henne struggled in relief for the now-1-5 Jaguars, and will get the start next week at Green Bay if Gabbert is unable to play.

RUNNING BACKS

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars (foot)

Jones-Drew, unquestionably the face of the Jaguars' franchise, injured his left foot on his first carry Sunday against Oakland, and despite having it taped heavily and returning briefly, he was eventually carted to the locker room and returned to the sidelines in a walking boot and using crutches to ambulate. Further testing will determine the nature and extent of Jones-Drew's injury, but preliminary indications are that it is unlikely he will get much practice time this week. Backup running back Rashad Jennings took over for the Jaguars and amassed 102 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Jennings may be worth a flier in your fantasy leagues this week, especially for Jones-Drew owners.



Shonn Greene, New York Jets (head)

The Jets' running back, who was coming off a career performance in Week 6 and had already totaled 54 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots, left the game early in the second half after suffering a head injury on a hit by New England linebacker Jerod Mayo. The Jets have not disclosed whether Greene sustained a concussion, but he was replaced in the game by backup running back Joe McKnight. Green did, however, return to the game in overtime. With Bilal Powell already out with a shoulder injury, the Jets are thin at running back, and neurological testing this week will determine whether Greene is able to play in Week 8 against the Dolphins.

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns (ribs)

The Browns' star rookie running back, who entered the game with a rib injury suffered in Cleveland's Week 6 win over Cincinnati, was removed in the second half of Sunday's loss to Indianapolis due to pain in the rib cartilage and chest. Despite being outfitted with a flak jacket, Richardson admitted after the game that the pain associated with the injury was "worse than what people think it is," although he did admit to thinking he could have played in the second half. In Richardson's absence, backup Montario Hardesty ran for 28 yards on seven carries and is likely to take on more of the rushing load until Richardson fully heals. Pain tolerance usually being the biggest hurdle to overcome when dealing with rib injuries.

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